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Policy Approach - Answer 1

The role of evaluation is a crucial part in the context of indigenous people as it requires effective skills and knowledge. The AES recognizes the demand for professional evaluators in certain to modify the engagement of indigenous people in the society (Australasian Evaluation Society, 2013). The professional evaluators require to develop trustful relationships with the indigenous society and understand the requirements of their respective policy areas. The role of evaluators involves maintaining coordination between the team, framing the methodology, examining documentary informants, examining observations, discuss the process, current issues and develop appropriate outcomes with stakeholders, and composing the reports based on collected information and data (Grey, Putt, Baxter, & Sutton, 2016). The evaluators also liable to be part of the judgment group and must give disclosure to the current problem.

The process that falls outside the professional evaluation may result in a lack of appropriate information and evidence. Those groups may also fail in applying approaches to the problem and situation. The evaluators are appointed to develop a flexible framework desired outcome which should be beneficial for the participants and concerned population while lack of evaluation skills and knowledge may drive negative results or maybe be listed as failed cases of evaluation (Morelli & Mataira, 2010).

By developing professional designation for evaluation, the policies for indigenous people can be reshaped and the evaluators can become the voice of aboriginals’ rights. Moreover, the professional designation can enable indigenous society to receive better government services by developing accountable and transparent guidelines (Scougall, 2006). However, professionalization may alter the overall ongoing system which requires high cost and can reduce the availability of resources because of low capital left for the procedure.

Policy Approach - Answer 2

As an evaluator of the task, the chief priority is to collect accurate and liable information and statistics about the subject. The professionals believe that evaluation may help in enhancing the development of public domain and methodologies. For an efficient and proper evaluation needs of the project and stakeholders must be defined initially. A proper process by default requires more time and effort then predicted (Abele, 2013). Hence to overcome the problem with effective means following considerations are to be taken:

  • Defining the basic need and requirements of the task.
  • Recognize the required sources and reviewing the accuracy of the collected information.
  • To examine the ongoing trend in the context and estimating desired outcomes of the process.
  • A survey-based evaluation will be the best means of considering the short timeframe.

Clarifying the purpose of the plan to its participants and stakeholders.

  • Involving indigenous people in the execution (Kawakami, Aton, Cram, Lai, & Porima, 2008).
  • Framing survey questions and circulating the responses to the concerned members.
  • Reviewing the information and conclude the report.
  • Develop an evaluation method like decolonizing (Christie, 2014).
  • Make use of findings into practice to develop a healthy indigenous community.

Thus developing, processing, and propagating will be the chief ingredients of the evaluation process in the context of indigenous people.

Policy Approach - Answer 3

The current situation of Australia in the context of indigenous people shows that these populations constantly facing discrimination and exclusion from societal rights. The chief consequences are low literacy rate, poverty, and higher health risk factors. Health risk factors include higher smoking rates, alcohol consumption, short life expectancy, food insecurity, unavailability of resources, etc. Records of 2014-15 disclosed that 39% of the indigenous people aged 15 years and above were daily smokers while 3 % were occasional smokers and 22% were ex-smokers. Apart from these, there are several health inequalities and inequities like low-income household rates, inaccessibility of health services, and ignorance towards health. About 13.3% of indigenous people had to experience physical violence in the household as reported in 2014-15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). The female victims were higher in number as compared to males. Moreover, almost every third individual in 10 had to go through homelessness during their lifetime mostly adults.

The most critical identical gap in the health and wellbeing of aboriginal is the social risk factors and social determinants impact in this context (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017). Consequences like unemployment, low literacy rate, average income, unacceptability, and others are the chief factors resulting in poorer health of the population. For example, low-income earners are not capable of affording health services and thus, not able to receive benefits of such services. Social determinants are restricting these people to access health facilities due to lack of transport services, higher costs, unavailability of services in respective regions, etc (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014).

Policy Approach - Answer 4

The total Australian population is comprised of 3% of indigenous individuals approximately. There was an estimated figure of 686800 indigenous population residing in secret dwellings out of which 90% were identified as aboriginals and the rest were Torres Strait Islanders. The population continuously moving towards urbanization, around 79% of indigenous people started living in non-remote regions which were only 76% in 2008. New South Wales and Queensland are the two major cities where more than half the indigenous population lives i.e. about 31% and 29% respectively (Anderson, 2006). The only place with the majority of the population living in remote areas was Northern Territory i.e. about 79%. Below are some subjects in which the evaluation process need to be considered:

  • YSVA (Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse): The occurrence and consequences resulted from YSVA need to be minimized in both remote and non-remote areas. The problem was partially known and therefore proper evaluation needs to be done to address the issue (Tilley et al., 2014).
  • Health inequities: The discrimination and exclusion of indigenous people are facing are required to be evaluated in terms of improving the health and wellbeing of the community. The health risk factors demand a systematic approach due to the constant rate of short life expectancy of this population.
  • Homelessness of elderly people: The homelessness is the major issue experienced by aboriginals’ adults and hence contributing to higher death rates due to inadequate health services (Pyett, Waples‐Crowe, & Van Der Sterren, 2009).

To elicit indigenous views on the defined problems, the step to be taken is to explore the history of the indigenous population and concerned matters. To improve the health status of the community, the polices need to be reshaped. An ethical study and well-planned research have to be done to minimize the impact of negative consequences on Indigenous society.

Policy Approach - Answer 5

The core competency is defined as a collection of capabilities, knowledge, practices, and required resources for a profitable evaluation process. The Australian Evaluation Society has three domains of core competencies:

  • Project evaluation management
  • Interpersonal skills domain
  • Foundation, methodology, and inquiry domain (Campbell, Foster & Davis, 2014).

The AES cultural competency domain involves cultural awareness in the context of participants and stakeholders. The understanding of cultural perspectives, reforms, and principles are the key concepts that fall under cultural competency. Cultural competencies also demand the skill of promoting and examining the tradition of indigenous society (Christie & Campbell, 2014). The practice ensure gives the facility to use evaluation findings in decision making. All the essential needs required to evaluate in culturally diverse norms are covered by these competencies. Indigenous people resist coordinating with the evaluation process as are very well comfortable with their situation. There is a requirement to develop strategies for promoting and involving indigenous people in the procedure is must make them aware of the situation and its impact. Several efforts should be practiced assuring cultural importance and develop evocative outcomes for the participants and stakeholders (Blagg, 2011).

Policy Approach - Answer 6

The study of indigenous societal issues elevates complex scientific and practical barriers. The problem of interaction and evaluating health ethics in the indigenous context creates critical issues in collecting appropriate information and concluding the results. The evaluators in the past have disclosed that how tough it is for them to conduct an evaluation process considering the indigenous community as the participants. The health risk factors affecting all age groups of the aboriginal community (Hunt, 2013). Inferior health is a developing issue in adults, children, and females of the indigenous community. This results in increased hospitalization and death rates among indigenous people. Hence, interaction, lack of knowledge, and unemployment are the major barrier in collecting information from the community. Another challenge is to engage indigenous people in the ongoing context to provide better services. To make indigenous people responsive and adaptive with emerging changes in the matter to concern for the evaluators (Blignault, & Williams, 2017). Moreover, these people have less interest or capabilities to be involved in government processes. Hence to develop their interest is another hard task in gathering information.

History on engagement between this population and government agencies discloses the violent conflict, compelled dispossession, and dislocation. Understanding and language also demonstrate a type of barries as it reflects the improper communication between the evaluators and the indigenous community (Stewart, & Jarvie, 2015). These barriers lead to an inappropriate and insufficient collection of information and hence the department fails to conclude proper findings of the evaluation. Moreover, the studies have also shown that despite establishing efforts to minimize the impact of such barriers, evaluators continued to work with the available information which results in false or improper findings. Cultural diversity also contributed as a form of barries to the process (Grey et al., 2018). These statistical inadequacies of desired information developed multiple challenges in converting findings into solutions.

References for Aboriginal Healing Programs

Abele, F. (2013). 11 Is evaluation a tool for social justice? Reconciliation? Control?—Reflections on the Canadian experience in Indigenous affairs. Better Indigenous Policies: The Role of Evaluation, 183-226.

Anderson, K. J. (2006). After sprawl: post-suburban Sydney. In E-Proceedings of: Post-Suburban Sydney: the City in Transformation Conference.

Australasian Evaluation Society (2013) Evaluators' Professional Learning Competency Framework. AES, Melbourne.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014) 4736.0 - Information Paper: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Perspectives on Homelessness, 2014

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) 4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework. AIHW, Canberra.https://www.pmc.gov.au/news-centre/indigenous-affairs/health-performance-framework-2017-report-now-available

Blagg, H. (2011). Journeys outside the comfort zone: Doing research in the Aboriginal domain. In Qualitative criminology: Stories from the field (pp. 140-152). Federation Press.

Blignault, I., & Williams, M. (2017). Challenges in evaluating Aboriginal healing programs: Definitions, diversity and data. Evaluation Journal of Australasia17(2), 4-10.

Campbell, M., Foster, D., & Davis, V. (2014). Looking back, moving forward: The place of evaluation at the Tangentyere Council Research Hub. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts14(Special Issue: Evaluation), 144-153.

Christie, M. (2014). Decolonizing Methodology in an Arnhem Land Garden. In Decolonizing the Landscape (pp. 57-69). Brill Rodopi.

Christie, M. J., & Campbell, M. (2014). Aboriginal contributions to the evaluation of housing (and to postcolonial theory). Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts, (14), 154-165.

Grey, K., Putt, J., Baxter, N., & Sutton, S. (2016). Bridging the gap both-ways: Enhancing evaluation quality and utilisation in a study of remote community safety and wellbeing with Indigenous Australians. Evaluation Journal of Australasia16(3), 15-24.

Grey, K., Yamaguchi, J., Williams, E., Davis, V., Foster, D., Gibson, J., & Dunnett, D. (2018). The Strength of Indigenous Australian Evaluators and Indigenous Evaluation: A Snapshot of “Ways of Knowing and Doing” Reflecting on the 2014 Darwin Conference of the Australasian Evaluation Society. New Directions for Evaluation2018(159), 79-95.

Hunt, J. (2013). Engaging with Indigenous Australia-exploring the conditions for effective relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Kawakami, A. J., Aton, K., Cram, F., Lai, M., & Porima, L. (2008). Improving the practice of evaluation through indigenous values and methods. Fundamental issues in evaluation, 219-242.

Morelli, P. T., & Mataira, P. J. (2010). Indigenizing evaluation research: A long-awaited paradigm shift. Journal of Indigenous Social Development1(2A).

Pyett, P., Waples‐Crowe, P., & Van Der Sterren, A. (2009). Engaging with Aboriginal communities in an urban context: some practical suggestions for public health researchers. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health33(1), 51-54.

Scougall, J. (2006). Reconciling tensions between principles and practice in Indigenous evaluation. Evaluation Journal of Australasia6(2), 49-55.

Stewart, J., & Jarvie, W. (2015). Haven't we been this way before? Evaluation and the impediments to policy learning. Australian Journal of Public Administration74(2), 114-127.

Tilley, N., Rayment-McHugh, S., Smallbone, S., Wardell, M., Smith, D., Allard, T., ... & Homel, R. (2014). On being realistic about reducing the prevalence and impacts of youth sexual violence and abuse in two Australian Indigenous communities. Learning Communities: International journal of learning in social contexts-special issue: Evaluation14, 6-27.

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